Nicole Vreugdenhil


Nicole Vreugdenhil has no memory of the train collision she survived in 2002.

Her mother Karen, who was driving the car, died instantly when she crossed into the path of a train outside their Southland property. Nicole’s younger sister walked away.

“It is amazing I survived at all,” says Nicole.  “I suffered a severe head injury and was in an induced coma in Dunedin Hospital for over a week.

“When I came out of the coma, I couldn’t walk or talk and doctors doubted I would ever make a full recovery.”

Miraculously, Nicole walked out of hospital three months later.  She has since gone on to complete her schooling and a University degree.

Nicole has spoken publicly on rail safety issues - telling her story as a way to raise awareness of the risk around rail level crossings.


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  • Nicole Vreugdenhil “It's amazing I survived at all”
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